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Economy in Brief

Import and Export Prices Increase
by Gerald D. Cohen  December 13, 2019

Import prices rose 0.2% during November (-1.3% year-on-year), following an unrevised 0.5% decline in October. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a 0.1% gain in November. These figures are not seasonally adjusted and do not include import duties.

The increase in import prices last month was driven by a 2.6% jump in fuel import costs (0.8% y/y). Nonfuel import prices edged down 0.1% (-1.4% y/y). Among end-use categories, industrial supplies & materials costs excluding petroleum grew 1.4% (-3.0% y/y), while motor vehicle prices edged up 0.1% (-0.6% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices were unchanged (-0.4% y/y). Capital goods and foods, feed and beverage prices both declined 0.3% (-1.8% and -2.6% y/y respectively).

Export prices increased 0.2% in November (-1.3% y/y), following an unrevised 0.1% decline in October. Forecasters' anticipated 0.1% in November. A 2.2% surge in agricultural commodities prices (2.5% y/y) led the gain. Nonagricultural export prices were unchanged (-1.6% y/y). Industrial supplies & materials and nonauto consumer goods prices edged up 0.1% (-5.6% and 0.5% y/y). Capital goods and motor vehicle & parts prices were flat (0.5% and 0.1% y/y). Meanwhile, nonagricultural food (ie fish) & distilled beverage prices fell 1.0% (+0.6% y/y).

The import and export price series can be found in Haver's USECON database. Detailed figures are available in the USINT database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is in the AS1REPNA database.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2018 2017 2016
Imports - All Commodities 0.2 -0.5 0.1 -1.3 3.1 2.9 -3.3
  Fuels 2.6 -2.5 0.8 0.8 20.8 25.6 -19.2
  Nonfuels -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 -1.4 1.3 1.0 -1.4
Exports - All Commodities 0.2 -0.1 -0.3 -1.3 3.4 2.4 -3.2
  Agricultural 2.2 1.7 -1.6 2.5 0.6 1.5 -5.4
  Nonagricultural 0.0 -0.2 -0.2 -1.6 3.7 2.5 -3.0
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